St Augustine's, Dumbarton

Scottish Episcopal Church

Charity Number: SC002984

The Restoration

Work began on September 9th 2002 – Finish date 23rd August 2003

restoredCross.jpgA new stone cross, honed by our workmen, sits now on our roof overlooking Dumbarton.

The middle of 2003 saw the final part of the Restoration of St Augustine’s completed. Much work had already been done, but there was still much to do, and a considerable sum had been put in place by grant awarding bodies, allowing the work to commence.

During the 10 months or so that the work went on, the congregation had to worship in the hall, and that threw up some interesting possibilities in our approach to worship and lent us lots of flexibility!

The”Friends of St Augustine’s” raised funds for the Restoration amongst other things! Their input was vital.

Proposed restoration and alterations

Please find below a summary of the proposals accepted by Historic Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund for work that was carried out on St Augustine’s.


St Augustine’s Church, designed by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson and opened in 1873, is a Grade A listed building. Since 1992 a programme of repair has ensured that the building is wind and watertight, heated, lit and safe. In 1997 the second phase of conservation and restoration work was planned and major funding sought from Historic Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Historic Scotland had made an indicative offer of £347,400 whilst the Heritage Lottery Fund has undertaken to provide a grant of £58,500 (75% of the development work cost) prior the project progressing to stage two and a final grant request of £409,500. The Friends of St Augustine had raised over £12,000 and other sources of funding were approached. Details of the scheme were first submitted to the diocese in 1997. Few believed it could succeed!

Specific objectives for the project:

1. To preserve a grade A listed building designed by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, giving particular attention to repairing and relaying the altar and sanctuary floor, repairing and the conserving the stained glass windows, repairing roof and masonry. 

2. To improve access to the building through providing access to the disabled and young children by installing ramps, hearing loops and toilets and improving lighting; improving energy conservation by building an internal porch and upgrading electricity and heating. 

3. To provide wider social benefit by contributing to 

a the upgrading of Dumbarton Town Centre 

b improving facilities for tourists 

c the availability of facilities for secular activities such as exhibitions, drama, music and dance 

d and last, but not least, providing a place of beauty and tranquillity for worship..

Enhancing intellectual and physical access 

The resources and facilities of St Augustine’s Church have over many years been made available to all members of the local community, regardless of race, religious belief, gender or sexual orientation. It was planned that this project would: 

1. Improve access for those with physical disabilities and for young children through the provision of ramps or lifts and toilets 

2. Provide hearing loops for the hearing impaired and improve lighting for the visually impaired 

3. Promote social inclusion by providing easy access to a local building of historical significance and a venue for various events 

4. Increase the church’s present contribution to Dumbarton Town Trail experience, Doors Open Days events, Scotland’s Churches Scheme and the Charles Rennie Mackintosh trail 

5. Give young people an increased opportunity to examine the building as part of the 5 – 14 Religious Education curriculum


So What Did We Do?


1. Roof: reslate, repair sarking, insulate, renew all rotten wood, ventilate, renew leadwork and flashings as required.

2. Gutters and downpipes: renew with cast iron

3. Ground drainage: survey and repair if necessary

4. Lightning conductor: install

5. Stonework:repair, repoint with lime mortars

6. Entrance area: renew flagstones, redesign external access from High Street to include ramp by removing wall and railings yet retaining lamps; all in consultation with Town Centre project

7. Solum: replace iron grilles as required, investigate seasonal flooding in liaison with West Dunbartonshire Council Flood Prevention Scheme.

8. Chimney/flue: remove/repair

9. Stained and leaded glass: restore/repair glass work and repair/reinstate opening mechanisms

10. Doors: overhaul and repair

Internal – restoration/reinstatement

11. Plasterwork: renovate/reinstate bearing in mind dampness problems

12. Boiler room: removal of asbestos, flood prevention, relocation of boiler, ventilation

13. Altar/chancel floor: lift, remove rot, rebuild and relay

Internal – alteration

14. Internal porch: replace earlier wooden structure, demolished because of rot, by building an internal porch which will allow main doors to be left open to encourage visitors and conserve energy

15. Vestry: install toilet (suitable for disabled), kitchen and form new first floor for small office space

16. Electrical installation: upgrade to present regulations, particularly fuse and distribution boards

17. Lighting: improve and upgrade lighting and controls, fit emergency lighting

18. Heating: upgrade and relocate boiler installation

19. Alarm systems; install fire alarm and intruder alarm

20. Access for disabled: install induction loop system, ensure wheelchair access

21. Rood screen: remove Technical reports and further details are available from the Parish Office on request.

Copyright St Augustines, Dumbarton (c) 2019. Site By UKC.